Revel Secures $1.2B for Stalled Casino Project

The entertainment firm has closed on a financing package for the 6.2 million-square-foot Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Money issues brought most construction activity at the $2.4 billion beachfront entertainment resort to a halt in January 20009, leaving the project half finished.

February 18, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Revel Entertainment Group L.L.C. has achieved quite a feat. The company has closed on a $1.2 billion financing package for the 6.2 million-square-foot Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Money issues brought most construction activity at the $2.4 billion beachfront entertainment resort to a halt in January, 2009, leaving the project half finished.

Tishman Construction is general contractor for Revel Casino, which will open its doors on 20 acres of beachfront land along the Boardwalk. Ultimately, the property will feature two 53-story towers encompassing an aggregate 3,800 rooms, 145,000 square feet of gaming space, a 5,000-seat event center, entertainment and retail offerings, a dozen restaurants, a 22,000 square-foot spa, a meeting and conference center and a 7,700-space parking facility. Bower Lewis Thrower Architects, Arquitectonica and SOSH Architects are behind the development’s design.

Revel Entertainment had kicked off construction of Revel Casino in 2007 before the credit crunch reared its ugly head. Morgan Stanley, which had forked over $1.2 billion for Revel Casino, announced in April 2010 that it would sell its interest in the project following a major loss on the investment. In the bank’s fourth quarter 2010 earnings statement, Morgan Stanley notes a decline in the value of its investment in Revel to $28 million.

But with the New Year came a renaissance for Revel Casino. The financing came together in part with the help of New Jersey Governor Christie, who green-lighted tax-increment financing valued at $260 million from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to fund infrastructure improvements surrounding Revel Casino and to clear the road, so to speak, for the project’s completion.

Revel chairman & CEO Kevin DeSanctics noted that re-starting the project immediately gives jobs to 2,100 construction craftspeople and will result in full-time employment for approximately 5,500 people.

Update: NJ’s Revel Casino Files for Second Bankruptcy